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Later, these were central dimensions in the national policy. Some actors related to the civil society still complain about the centralized profile of this administration 'the public sector defined [the rules], and they had to adapt' 20 , while others characterize Sposati as an 'enemy of CSOs', due to her strong emphasis on state responsibility in this policy field. Consequently, the CSOs' role in service provision was characterized as a type of 'outsourcing' of the state's activities, an idea that still remains strong amongst this policy community and that influences social workers in charge of supervising CSOs' activities even today There were contradictory movements during this period: after , the city went through a restructuring process to adapt to SUAS, while implementing local social assistance programs aiming to develop a 'municipal brand' in the area of social assistance Marin, Interested in leaving a 'personal mark', Pesaro tried to impose his own agenda, not following the federal guidelines for basic service provision and managing to obtain support from the CSOs, especially within FAS.

After Pesaro left the secretariat to run for the municipal chamber, the right-wing administration of Gilberto Kassab —, at that time from Democrats Party DEM nominated the vice-mayor Alda Marco Antonio, who was affiliated to the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party PMDB and an engineer with previous experience in the field of social assistance, as secretary — Alda was responsible for expanding the number of CRAS and expanding the partnerships with CSOs; many of these organizations were created during this administration.

Two of the most-important municipal normative acts were developed in this administration: one regarding the municipal parameters for social assistance and the regulation of partnerships based on agreements, and other concerning the reference cost of social assistance services provided by partner organizations. These municipal regulations were discussed 'pari passu' with the national regulations, and cross-learnings happened due to the connections between middle-level bureaucrats in the municipality and high-level bureaucrats from MDS, who were debating the national classification of services In this sense, the implementation of some of SUAS' leading ideas depends not only on the head of the secretariat, but also on the permanent bureaucracy.


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The connections to the social assistance policy community proved once again to be important, particularly in what concerns the development of normative acts and legislation aiming to regulate the relations with CSOs. The administration of Fernando Haddad — , affiliated with PT, continued the recent trend of nominating secretaries with a technical and political profile. However, his secretary, Luciana Temer, was not a member of the social assistance community, but a lawyer affiliated with the centrist PMDB.

Her appointment as the secretary was driven by the logic of government composition and by her political capital; she is the daughter of Michel Temer, the current president after Dilma Roussef's deposition. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with the estrangement of the secretary from the field of social assistance.

The secretary put forward new agendas and innovations, a behavior that suggests that she was less influenced by the legacy of this policy or by strict definitions of what should be considered as social assistance. On the other hand, as there was a huge asymmetry of information between the secretary, SMADS's bureaucrats and CSOs that have signed agreements with the secretariat. Luciana Temer's administration sought to improve some of the previous normative acts, in a more democratic perspective. One of the priorities, regarding regulation, was the definition of a protocol for the supervision of CSOs, aiming to minimize discretionary decisions in this activity.

The members of the CSOs we have interviewed have more often mentioned the municipal normative acts than the federal ones. These mentions are frequently associated with complaints about the existence of 'too many parameters' 23 and about their rigidity, and with criticisms regarding the low values that serve as reference costs.

It is also common to hear that these normative acts leave a huge margin to interpretation in the supervision of CSOs' reports. The discretionary interpretation of the normative acts is a constant object of conflict between CSOs and the municipal secretariat, especially regarding the space for discretionary interpretations by middle-level bureaucracy when the secretary is alien to the social assistance community. The larger CSOs are familiarized with these normative acts and regulations.

As one of our interviewees said, 'knowing how to interpret the text is everything'. Our data supports Yazbek et al. If the federal funding seems relatively small, when considered in absolute values, it is a considerable amount, pushing for the idea of following the SUAS otherwise, the transfer of federal resources may be interrupted.

Sometimes the national parameters are very different from the city's reality. Another goal was to examine these determinants departing from the observation of horizontal governance dynamics, focusing on the relationship between state actors and CSOs involved in the provision of social assistance services. We showed that macro-explanations and broad categories are not sufficient to explain the municipal governance patterns; there are different dynamics in right and left wing administrations, but local politics go beyond that.

Finally, we have presented the complexity of state and non-state actors' interactions in the policy process.

Resilience: What are multilevel governance systems?

This autonomy implies the absence of complete adherence to the national agenda, even when the mayor and the president are politically aligned, that is, are affiliated to the same party or political coalition. To understand the patterns of governance in this field, it is important to know the disputes and local political dynamics. However, this argument is insufficient to explain the policy dynamics. This is a municipality with high capacities administrative and financial resources, recent expansion of public facilities and a certain degree of autonomy.

The forms of policy governance differ from what is stipulated at the national level. Besides, organizations also play a major role in the definition and interpretation of normative acts. As we have shown, the key disputes at the municipal level are related to the municipal budget and the amounts payed to the CSOs, and over the definition of minimal principles regarding service provision.

Thus, political choices, constraints and local dynamics matter. The differences between Marta and Haddad's administrations both from the Workers' Party, PT, at that time suggest that besides the mayor's political and ideological profile, it is also important to consider the political and ideological orientation of the secretary of social assistance. Certain arenas are essential to foster the interaction between state and non-state actors and to the construction of the municipal policy. There is a CSO ecology, a myriad of organizations interacting and disputing the decision-making arenas.

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These dynamics are influenced by different determinants that may be combined in different ways. So far, it is possible to highlight the following aspects: size of the organizations budget, sources of resources and services capacity ; time of creation or expansion before or after SUAS implementation ; origin and profile within social movements, religious organizations or managerial profiles ; and fields of action social assistance only or also in other areas.

Departing from the data that we have analyzed so far, we can argue that the local governance of the social assistance policy is defined by the capacities municipal budget, human resources, well-defined institutional arenas and by the constraints size, profile and spatial distribution of the vulnerable population, the low budget and scarce attention paid to this field that characterize this policy. Moreover, these governance patterns are explained by the choices and the contingent results arising from the complex formal and informal interactions between state and non-state actors, which follow rules and different dynamics in distinct levels of governance, ranging from the minimal parameters defined at the national level in the frame of SUAS to norms defined at the municipal level.

Master dissertation. Universidade Estadual de Campinas. Lua Nova. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Fiocruz. Oxford: Oxford University Press. In: States in the developing world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Porto Alegre: Ed. Rio de Janeiro. PhD dissertation. Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro.

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Belo Horizonte: Ed. PUC Minas. Brazilian Political Science Review. Universidade de Campinas. New York: Routledge. London: Sage Publishing. Ontario: Oxford University Press. In: Cities of Europe : changing contexts, local arrangements, and the challenge to urban cohesion.

Multi-level governance in federal contexts: the Social Assistance Policy in the City of São Paulo

Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell. In: Minimum income protection in flux. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Italian social assistance policies between institutional opportunities and agency.

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